Dark chocolate and tangy orange with a soft brown sugar sweetness and buttery finish.
Our third coffee offering this season from the Alvarez family La Reforma farm and processed at their famous El Borbollon mill on the slopes of the Ilamatepec volcano. This lot comes exclusively from the Bourbon variety and was one of the coffees sourced directly by Nude Coffee roasters. They made a few sacks available of a number of these coffees to other roasters and since I know the head roaster pretty well I was lucky enough to score a few. This included the amazing Natural Bourbon and the zingy SL-28 Kenya varietal.
The Alvarez family has been growing coffee in El Salvador for over 100 years across four generations. Their award-winning farms are located on the lush green hills of Santa Ana, in the west of the country, whose rich volcanic soils and mild climate provide ideal conditions for growing coffee. The family owns several farms and also the renowned Borbollon Mill, where this lot was processed. All lots are hand-picked and collected in traditional hand woven baskets from December until March by pickers who have been specially trained to select only the best and fully-mature coffee cherries.
La Reforma's coffee trees are shade grown under native shade species (at a density of around 50%), which enrich and conserve the soil and provide an important habitat for birds and other wildlife. The trees are managed according to a stringent pruning schedule that maintains the health of the trees and improves their resistance to diseases and insect damage. The excellent growing conditions and the commitment to sustainable growing practices have helped the family to harvest some of the best coffee from this elite region of El Salvador.
Tablon 10 refers to a section of Bourbon trees identified on the farm that produces the best cup quality year on year, much like the ‘top paddock’ associated with the most consistent vines on a vineyard.
Once picked, sorted and depulped, these cherries have then been fermented underwater for approximately 16 hours in fresh water which is held between 18 to 22 C, allowing a controlled fermentation. Then they are washed again with fresh water and taken to the raised beds for for drying. This technique is adopted from the ‘ethiopian’ style for their washed coffees.
Due to the quality of the Bourbon trees and the ‘cool’ water fermentation, expect this coffee to showcase flavours not usually seen in El Salvador bourbons.